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About us 

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Who we are

We are one of 15 Clinical Research Networks (CRNs) in England delivering health and social care research. Our core network team are based at Hedge End, Southampton. 

What we do

We are passionate about the contribution that research can make, and work collaboratively with our partners to translate that passion into the effective delivery of research studies in the Wessex area. 

We support research delivery by:

  • Helping to increase the opportunities for patients and the public to take part in research across health and social care settings
  • Providing professional support services for the effective delivery of health and social care research by our partner organisations
  • Improving the environment for commercial contract clinical research in the NHS
  • Supporting sites to manage their study performance and deliver to time and to target 

Where we work

Our network serves Hampshire, Dorset, Isle of Wight and south Wiltshire. We make sure that research occupies the place it deserves to in the day-to-day work of health and social care organisations across the Wessex area. This includes NHS trusts, primary care and any other qualified providers of NHS services.  We are hosted by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. 

See a list of the NHS trusts and CCGs covered by our network

Our highlights

In Wessex, more people than ever before are participating in research. In 2017/18:

  • We supported the delivery of over 850 studies
  • We helped to recruit over 45,000 participants into research
  • 100% of our partner organisations were research active

The NIHR research activity league table provides a picture of how much clinical research is happening, where, in what types of trusts, and involving how many patients. Visit the league table to see how we performed in 2017/18.

Making research happen

From innovative interventions to global first recruits, we make research happen. For example, we've been supporting a large scale study of 20,000 people visiting their GP with lung or bowel symptoms. The study known as CanDiD (Cancer Diagnosis Decision Rules) looks at common early symptoms of lung and bowel cancer to help doctors diagnose cancer quickly and avoid unnecessary examinations for low risk patients.

The study is led by Wessex chief investigator Paul Little, Professor of Primary Care Research at University of Southampton, who has praised the support of CRN Wessex: "CRN has provided diverse support, from taking the pain out of approaching practices, with costs and has been an incredibly useful resource. I can’t imagine running the studies without them now." 

Find out more...

Putting the heart in cardology research